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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “papers”

The Travails of my Senior English Essay

Remember the Senior Essay requirement for English majors? Remember how I opted to write a long paper the fall of my junior year, so if I wound up finishing the English major, I would already have completed that requirement? Remember how I also did a Butler Summer Institute project last summer and finished a draft of another long paper?

Remember how I had to decide which one was to be my senior English essay? Well, I went with BSI, since I’ve learned a thing or two since the Irish lit paper (and it was not very good, only I didn’t realize it at the time). And I’m taking EN 450, which will soon be renamed Advanced Academic Writing, which helps prep this essay.

Remember how it turns out my BSI is a complete mess, only I didn’t know this during the summer, and I had to rewrite it completely — not even revise, but full-blown rewrite with a new thesis and all? Oh, yeah, I didn’t tell you because I was too frustrated.

Ce qui sera, sera, as we learned in my French class.

Remember how I rewrote the whole paper during the second semester of my senior year as I traveled all over the country for auditions and had mega rehearsal for Por Vos Muero and Coppélia? Oh, yeah, I didn’t tell you… because I was too busy.

Remember how I was kind of sassy during a blog post when I did eventually divulge all this info? Yeah, that’s because I FINALLY FINISHED!

Well, I finished the draft. Which will be workshopped. So I’ll have to write it again before the year’s up, I’m sure. Oh well. Let me gloat in an unseemly way for just a little while.

Celebrating with a huge mocha and homework for a class that isn’t EN 450…

Senior English Essay

Thinking about becoming an English major at Butler? You’ll need a senior essay to graduate, whether you are a English Literature, English Creative Writing, or even an English-concentration education major.

What is the senior essay? It’s a long paper on a topic of your choice. These are usually written in a 400-level seminar class and honed in the “Senior Essay” class, which will soon be known by the much cooler name of “Advanced Academic Writing.” I will take this course, along with a class taught by the head of the department and her colleague on Midrash. I am so excited for the Midrash class, and I’m sure I’ll plague you with details once that gets underway.

Back to the Senior Essay. Having taken quite a few upper-level English courses by this late stage in my college game, I had a variety of papers to chose to polish into senior essay readiness.

I went with BSI. Since I put so much effort into the project this summer, I’d like to finish it. Novel idea, huh? Wales and Ireland, I shall presently make my great return!

 

This is a super dramatic metaphor about marathons

The three weeks after Thanksgiving break seem like a marathon. Here is how this comparison would go: The first third, we’re feeling good, getting water at the water stops, waving at the people lining the street holding hand-made glitter signs and ringing obnoxious cowbells. This is The Nutcracker.

The second week has those blisters those start to burn, long stretches without any cheering fans, the cramp in my left calf, the knowledge that even though it hurts now, there are still 10.2 miles to go. This is the week of dance finals, memorizing classes and finishing self-assessment papers; this is the week before academic finals, when my life is in a disorganized pile after The Nutcracker but I still have a ton of papers to write.

I’m on mile 24 now. I pushed through the cramps and blisters and opened a few more. I drank my Gu (this is real, I promise). There are people lining the street, holding small children who have insisted on displaying those enthusiastic signs, though they have them crooked so the message becomes obscured. (It doesn’t matter, we know they contain words of encouragement and love.) That cramp is killing me, and I know there are still 2.2 miles left. But I’m so close, and all my friends are running beside me.

Some of us will cross the finish line sooner, some later. Some of us have huge hampers of laundry to wash when we’ve finished the run. (Me.) Some of us have been done for a few days and have come back to stand on the sidelines to cheer the runners onto the finish line.

This is super dramatic.

On Monday, I finished a thirteen-page research paper for my Financial Fictions class in effectively three/four days. (Sorry, Dr. Swenson.) After I turned it in at 6 pm on Monday, I finished my Teaching Analysis of Classical Ballet project. Then I studied for an hour, went to bed, studied for another hour in the morning, then took the final. (Sorry, Professor Bryam.) Then I started to write my Theory and Philosophy paper, which I turned in eight minutes before it was due at 5 pm. (Sorry, Professor Laurent.)

Now I’m writing my short Shakespeare paper and studying/preparing for that final on Thursday. Perhaps I shouldn’t admit how close to the wire I came with some of those assignments… But I’m ready to finish off my last fall semester of college!

Good luck to everyone studying for final exams and writing final papers, to everyone preparing applications to grad school, to all you high school seniors finalizing/prepping college applications! We are almost there!

I’ve never run a marathon, by the way. I’m sure it shows.

Yes, we participated in the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot volunteering crew this year as per family tradition!

Thanksgiving Break Youtube Collection

Thanksgiving Break. A time for family and friends and relaxing… and English papers? But of course. In case you actually have a few hours to yourself and want a frivolous activity, I have gathered a collection of funny/odd Youtube videos from the recommendations of various friends and sisters.

1. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

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2. Adorable Owls!

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3. Scary Cat Massage Lady

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4. Mameshiba!

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Okay, I suppose I should finish that English paper…

Thanksgiving Checklist

Thanksgiving is next Thursday, and Butler students, much as we love to study and attend class, are counting down the days until sleep and family bonding commence. Inspired by Andre’s post, here is what I hope to do over Thanksgiving break:

  • See my family. I haven’t been home since August, and I did not spend much time there this summer either, due to BSI. I guess it’s training for the real world of jobs next year.
  • See my friends from home.
  • Play with my rabbits.
  • Play with my sisters.
  • Take dance classes — as possibly teach as well! My Teaching Analysis of Classical Ballet class should come in handy.

Belly bump with my sister?

Oh yeah, also:

  • Finish a paper on Shakespeare’s Othello.
  • Write a review of another Shakespearian play.
  • Write a dance critique of a performance I’ve seen — I think I’ll do mine on the Luna Negra program I saw a few weeks ago.
  • Reassemble my Irish Lit paper from its URC format to submit as my senior English essay.
  • Begin my research paper for Financial Fictions class on the metaphoric Fall in Frank Norris’ The Pit.
  • Arrange dance photos for my resume — YIKES.
  • Begin a paper for my Theory and Philosophy of Dance class: “What is dance?” I’m going to answer, “Derrida.”
  • Finish my knitting project?

Will all this happen? Probably not. Can I try? Meh… I’ll let you know.

One Week (and a half) In: English Department

Friday morning, it is, and about a week and a half of classes gone past. Last post, I gave you the news from the dance department — now we shall examine the world of my English literature classes.

  • I’m only taking two English classes this semester, one of which meets only once a week, so this list might not be too long.
  • Shakespeare — EN 363 — meets three days a week. My one complaint? The textbook is HUGE. I’m a dancer/English major. I’m not used to lugging around the real textbooks like the science majors. Even my physics textbook was not this large, and I did not have to bring it every day.
  • We are doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Shakespeare class. I can still quote large tracts of this play, thanks to a brief but obsessive period in high school. I have seen or danced in three different productions of the ballet, as well as trying to choreograph my own version with my friend in middle school. (Laughable — we spent four hours in my basement and produced two minutes of movement.) I have the suspicion that the class will become much more difficult when we switch to plays not so familiar. YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image
  • The other class is Financial Fictions in the Gilded Age. We read books about financiers in the post-Civil War period. I’m intrigued because the last American literature class I took from the professor turned out to be great fun. We usually get to read some shoddily written books from circa 1850.
  • I’m also doing an independent study on British stream-of-consciousness novels. (Sorry, Dr. Garver. I’m working on my paper as soon as I finish this blog post, I promise!) I’m trying to claim that, while being the underdog in a colonizer/colonized relationship stinks no matter how you parse it, being recognized as such by the colonizer grants the colonized some measure of power. I use the examples of East African colonies (recognized as colonies by the British Empire) and Wales (not recognized as acting the part of the colonized and denied a voice granted to East African subjects).

And that’s the news from the English department, one week into the semester. Shakespeare is about to get harder, Financial Fictions is going to get funnier, and my independent study paper will be written. Let’s work on this paper.

The GREs: Another Summer Story

Once upon a time, a girl named Olivia decided to study for two majors. She left her family’s hut on the edge of the woods and ventured deep into the forest. When the weather changed and it was time for most young lads and lasses to return to their families’ dwellings (they take advantage of the summer light to chop wood for their families’ winter stock of fuel), Olivia found a group of youths who decided to stay in the woods. This was called BSI.

Then once that bunch of young people trickled back toward the perimeter of leaf cover, Olivia wandered through the forest alone once more, part of the diffuse group comprised of those doing independent studies. While sustaining membership in this rather scattered crowd, she passed several hours in the company of an assembly of yet more lads and lasses. This was known as the GRE, the Graduate Requisite Exam.

This assembly, however, stuck out in a bold new direction. No longer did they circle the campfire in search of antonyms; no longer did the ceremony adapt question by question. Instead, they worked on a full body of arcane trivia before the spirit of the proceedings determined in what vein the questioning should advance. This was known as a computer adapted test which adjusted difficulty section by section rather than question by question.

In sort, Olivia survived the long ritual but remains at large in the forest, still weaving daisy chains (i.e. English papers) for her independent study, slowly going loopy, while the majority of Butler lasses and lads prepare to return to the forest of academia.

When Not Writing Papers

You might notice I have quite a few posts have the tag “papers” attached. I’m taking a break from the latest one to write this blog post. That’s called procrastination, and college teaches young adults to do this with gusto.

Anyway, I do more than just write papers (and dance). I’m typing this in part to convince myself. After BSI ended, I started an independent study with an English professor that will let me finish my second major without staying longer than eight semesters or going over credit hours (like last semester). But I don’t write papers all the time. I don’t. Instead I:

  • Play card games, mahjong games, and Bananagrams with my family. Sometimes at the pool.
  • Swim a bunch of laps after being lazy for a while. Usually at the pool.
  • Dance. Sometimes in the pool.
  • Get all worked up and sucked into media frenzies. (Like with the debt ceiling, which in retrospect looks more like drama and less like crisis.) (Still, I want a job.) (Seriously, is anyone hiring?)
  • Play the piano.
  • Read easy-to-understand magazines — NOT scholarly articles. (Though I did love Hildegard Tristram’s “Near-Sameness in Early Insular Metrics.” It contained Welsh mutations as a matter of obvious fact. I swooned in a completely geeked-out fashion.)
  • Restart my duties as president of the Butler Catholic Community. New students — look for us at Block Party, which is a huge conglomeration of tables where every club imaginable tries to trade your email address for free gear!

I’ve been working, in one way or another, all summer, so it’s hard to believe I’ll be back at Butler in three short weeks. Classes start Wednesday, August 24 — I’ll see you there! If you should happen to find me in the midst of festivities, please don’t hesitate to ask questions about any and everything Butler/college/ballet/English/knitting/Welsh/rabbits/cooking failures/etc!

I took this with my point-and-shoot. This should give some indication of the beauty of Butler's campus in the fall.

The above photo should also be rather large, if anyone has been looking for Butler-themed images to use as wallpaper for a computer screen. I can share. Just click on the picture for a larger size.

Words so many words aaah

After pasting the text of my BSI paper into the handy app at Wordle, I got a picture featuring a word cloud of the most-used words in my paper. It looks a little something like this:

While writing this, I kept entertaining the thought that I was actually composing two separate papers. I have one section about Thomas and Joyce’s reaction to religious and pagan models of the bard, and I have another about their interactions with the Welsh and Irish languages in their stories. When I received the comments on my first full draft from my advisor, she also noticed the break.

It is too late to split the papers in two now, since I’m giving a presentation for the BSI students, mentors, and some other people on Monday. This will be a more informal presentation in that I am not reading my paper/papers, so whether or not I have one or two papers doesn’t matter so much.

Still, it’s funny the way things work out. I’ve written loads of 5-12 page papers, but only a few longer ones, and there is definitely a learning curve. Organization becomes my main battle once the paper passes about sixteen pages, and the one I have for BSI currently clocks in at twenty-seven. (Which means the last few pages are an organizational nightmare.)

Ah well, one can’t expect to grasp every skill at first (or even fourth) try.

If only…

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Researchical insights: Another quality post

Summer.

I cannot form nice sentences any longer. For at least another two weeks. It’s all lazy mornings with my pet bunnies and sunshine.

And I have exhausted my English-language skills. They will need these two weeks to recover, I fear. Yup. So.

I produced twenty-one new pages of writing in the last three days at Butler. Altogether, my three final papers clocked in at exactly thirty-three pages.

Eight pages of dance history. Nine for a paper on Nathaniel Hawthorne and his deviant characters and Hepzibah’s shop and the railroad á la Christopher Castiglia and Leo Marx. Sixteen on Emily Dickinson. I say she not only deserves the attention of the postmodern scholarship community, but she also possesses herself a postmodern understanding of language.

If you examine her ideas of death and Heaven and knowledge, you find that her binary oppositions are wonky. Death is connected to absolutes and divinity and comfort. Hmmm.

I wrote a paper over spring break on Emily Dickinson, after reading a hundred and fourteen of Emily Dickinson’s poems. For my final, I researched the current discourse surrounding Dickinson from a postmodernist viewpoint and revised my paper to place it into conversation with the scholarly community.

And that’s what a dance/English major writes at the end of junior semester.